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Mech Dev. 2000 Jun;94(1-2):133-46.

The Xenopus eomesodermin promoter and its concentration-dependent response to activin.

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Wellcome CRC Institute, Cambridge, UK.


Eomesodermin is an essential early gene in Xenopus mesoderm formation and shows a morphogen-like response to activin. Here we define the regions of the Eomesodermin promoter required for mesodermal expression and for concentration-dependent response to activin. We find an activin response element (ARE) located between -5.6 and -5.0 kb which contains two critical FAST2 binding sites. The ARE alone is necessary and sufficient for concentration-dependent response to activin. A 5.6 kb promoter recapitulates Eomes expression in normal mesoderm cells. A repressor element extinguishes Eomes expression in the endoderm. We relate our results to mesoderm patterning in early Xenopus development and to a mechanism of morphogen gradient response.

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